Kent mosque smashed
A picture of the mosque in Gillingham after the attack (twitter/diarf9)

The Muslim Council of Britain has condemned the alleged beheading of a British soldier in Woolwich, calling the attack "barbaric" and one that has "no basis in Islam".

The man, who is believed to have served in the armed forces, was hacked to death in broad daylight by alleged Islamist extremists who reportedly raised religious slogans. Witness accounts confirm a strong political and religious motive to the brutal attack, but authorities have not yet officially responded.

"This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family. We understand that the victim is a serving member of the armed forces. Muslims have long served in this country's armed forces, proudly and with honour," said a statement from the Council.

It adds: "This attack on a member of the armed forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder. This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom. We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do no prevail."

Meanwhile, anti-Muslim sentiments are surfacing in certain parts of the UK and two men have been arrested for attacking mosques in separate incidents.

A 43-year-old man has been detained by the police on suspicion of attempted arson after allegedly entering a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Sussex.

Another man was also arrested in Gillingham, Kent, for allegedly smashing windows and bookcases, which contained copies of the Quran, in a mosque.